Ashmore sees a 36 per cent hike in profits

 
Steve Dinneen
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Emerging markets fund manager Ashmore smashed forecasts with an astonishing 36 per cent rise in full-year profit.

It was boosted by a sharp increase in investor appetite for its core debt products. The British-based specialist manager reported a pre-tax profit of £217m for the year to June, compared with a forecast for £196m.

Performance fees were up 58 per cent to £82.9m, and total net revenues were up 41 per cent to £286m.

Graeme Dell, group finance director, told City A.M.: “Revenue has been the driving force but we maintain a very strong operating margin which has dropped through to make for some very positive results.

“Performance fees for this year have started strongly and we have revenue growth on management fees.”

Dell said local currency products were attractive to emerging market institutions as a hedge against the long-term structural decline in the US dollar. Emerging market central banks have large US dollar reserves.

As a result of this appetite for Ashmore’s specialist products, net inflows reached $7.6bn (£4.3bn), with assets under management at $35.3bn at the end of June.

Ashmore shares have risen 12 per cent in the last three weeks. It trades at a premium to peers, but analysts at Arden said this is warranted due to its continued high margin and strong net inflows.

Execution Noble analysts said: “Given its market leading position in an asset class which is seeing both long-term and short-term structural drivers along with its best in class investment performance, Ashmore deserves to trade at a premium”.

Ashmore, which derives the bulk of its assets from institutions, said that it is now stepping up its targeting of the global retail market. Further marketing and distribution hires are planned to support the roll-out of its Luxembourg-domiciled retail-friendly funds across the UK and Europe.